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Who Is Lucky The Pizza Dog In Hawkeye? We Explain

The Disney+ series "Hawkeye" already has an Avenger and Kate Bishop, but what about that golden retriever who's is stealing so many hearts? Since his appearance in the first trailer — as well as subsequent posters and promotional materials — fans have been talking about the cute canine's place in the series (via /Film). Fans of Marvel Comics know all too well that the animal in question is none other than Lucky the Pizza Dog, one of the many beautiful creations of comics writer and certified evil genius Matt Fraction.

While Lucky might seem like a secondary character, this loyal — and pizza-loving — dog has been an integral part of several Marvel stories. More than just a golden retriever in a Santa cap, he's been in harm's way more than once. Bishop and Barton might even consider him a permanent member of their team — an extra Avenger, if you will. So what's this special dog's story? It's a narrative that tracks back to 2012 and a popular comic featuring the archers.

Lucky's first appearance

Lucky didn't start out as the Pizza Dog we know of today. His 2012 arrival came in "Lucky: A Clint Barton / Hawkeye Adventure." The well-liked comic presents Lucky, then called Arrow, as Ivan Banionis' dog. The Tracksuit Mafia member — nicknamed Tracksuit Draculas by Barton — doesn't treat his canine companion well. Luckily, the archer saves him, but not before Lucky loses his left eye (via Nerdist).

To creator Matt Fraction, who wrote perhaps the most storied "Hawkeye" run in recent memory, the dog represents a connection to his own beloved pet. Fraction's canine companion, Captain Applejack, served as the inspiration for Hawkeye's pup. In a tragic turn, Captain Applejack would die before Fraction began work on the comic book series. The writer acknowledged the importance of the loss and how it changed his life during an appearance on Live Wire! Radio podcast (via Inverse).

"If I said 'miraculous,' it would actually insult real miracles, but I don't know what else to say. I was on my way out the door, but it turned out the door was revolving and I was right back in and my entire life turned around," Fraction said during the interview. "And everything in my career exploded off of this book. I tried to save my dog, and he saved me."

A comic from his own perspective

The appeal of Lucky only grew after his first appearance. Fraction's ambitions for the character led to the unique story "Pizza Is My Business." In the comic, the Pizza Dog is front and center as readers see the world through his perspective. Normal conceits about dialogue and action are replaced with raw graphics illustrating how Lucky would view things. Of course, this central character takes some time out to enjoy a slice as he contemplates the figures around him (via A.V. Club).

Its plot centers around the dog becoming a canine crime-solver. Because scent is such an important part of a dog's sensory input, Fraction had to figure out a way to graphically represent this means of interacting with the world in order to do justice to Lucky's POV. He settled a kind of associative process, whereby Lucky likened the scents of specific characters to other aromas — often food.

"I had to go through and figure out what each character smelled like," Fraction said during an interview with Wired

For those wondering what Hawkeye smells like to his canine pal, the answer is coffee. Meanwhile, Kate Bishop carries a hint of pizza in her otherwise floral aroma.

Lucky's crossed over into other heroic adventures

Like any true Marvel hero, Lucky's had his own crossovers in the comics universe. In an unusual, but surprisingly perfect pairing, the Pizza Dog teamed up with Squirrel Girl's cat Mewnir. It shouldn't come as a shock that it was a slice that brought them together. As with any good superhero team, the duo worked to defeat Taskmaster in the crossover "Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 2" (via Screen Rant).

He's also made subsequent appearances in West Coast Avengers stories, some of which also gave Hawkeye a chance to be front and center — along with his trusted animal sidekick (via Marvel.com). As for the Disney+ series, it looks like TV isn't veering too far from its comics counterparts. Much of "Hawkeye" will be based on Fraction's decade-old run on the title, and from the promotional materials released so far, Lucky seems like he'll be finding a home with Clint before settling in with Kate Bishop

While a spin-off or film featuring Bishop has yet to be announced in 2021, it's a good bet that the canine will showing up in other future projects — like, say, a "Young Avengers" take.